Welcome to lakeside living! Since you've chosen to live on or near a Brazos River Authority reservoir,
you probably already know quite a bit about the area. Here is some additional information you might find of interest to you and your family.
The State of Texas has hundreds of water bodies - from small farm tanks to huge reservoirs -
but within the state's 269,000 square mile area, there is only one naturally-formed lake -
Caddo Lake on the Texas Louisiana border - the rest are man-made reservoirs.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, there are more than 175 registered
reservoirs in the state. These reservoirs have been built by the US Army Corps of
Engineers for the federal government or by state, county, city or district entities.
Reservoirs serve a number of functions: they lessen the potential of flooding by catching
water behind a dam that may be released later in a controlled manner. They store water for
human consumption such as drinking water, irrigation for food crops, as well as commercial
and industrial needs such as manufacturing and electric generation. They also allow great
outdoor recreational opportunities.
The Brazos River Authority System of reservoirs includes both flood control and water
supply reservoirs. Eight flood control reservoirs were built and are run by the US Army
Corps of Engineers and three water supply reservoirs -- Lakes Possum Kingdom, Granbury
and Limestone -- were built and are owned and operated by the Brazos River Authority
The BRA pays a fee to the federal government to store water in the Corps reservoirs.
The main purpose of a water supply reservoir is to capture and store water during wet
times so that water is available during dry times or drought. Through a permitting process
with the state, the BRA provides water supply for drinking, household use, agriculture,
mining and industry.
There are two major differences between a Corps reservoir and a BRA
reservoir: the type of dam holding back the reservoirs' water and
lakeside access to that water.
The dams that hold back water in the flood control reservoirs constructed
by the Corps are built specifically to hold back flood waters within their
watershed area. This means that the dam itself towers over the normal
level of the reservoir.
The dams that hold back water for water supply reservoirs are smaller,
with the water supply stored there rising to the top of the dam when the
reservoir is at capacity.
Why is this important?
Because flood control dams are built to temporarily hold back flood
waters, homes and permanent structures cannot be built within a potential
inundation or flood area. As a result, the Corps of Engineers do not allow
residents to build their homes close to the water and lakeside docks are
Unlike Corps reservoirs, the BRA allows lakeside owners to build private
on-water facilities or docks directly on the water. The BRA also provides
lakeside property owners the opportunity to access water from the reservoir
for landscape watering purposes. Both private docks and landscape water
access are made available by obtaining a permit from the BRA.
Living on or near a Texas reservoir comes with both privileges and
responsibilities. Boating, fishing and hunting within steps of your
home are some of those benefits.
Along with these benefits come several important responsibilities.
The water stored in these reservoirs is most likely the same water
that will flow from your home faucets. Maintaining the ecological
health of the lake is extremely important to the health and well-being
of our community. Properly maintaining septic systems at your home,
regularly servicing boat motors, and careful application of fertilizer
and herbicide products, and refraining from dumping grass clippings and
pet droppings into the reservoir will help insure the reservoir remains
safe for drinking water.
There are few, if any, constant levels reservoirs in Texas.
Those lakes that are constant were most likely built specifically
to serve as landscape structures. Both flood control and water
supply reservoirs are made to fluctuate with change in rainfall,
evaporation rates, and water use.
During times of severe drought, lake levels can drop significantly.
As water demands increase, water levels will rise and fall more often
and to a greater degree than seen in past years. Those that live on a
canal may find that during times of drought and high water consumption
this fluctuation could mean that canals may not have adequate water
levels to move a moored watercraft into the main body of the lake.
If you choose to live on a water supply reservoir, you must be aware
that it is normal for lake levels to fluctuate possibly dropping as much as 33 feet.
Along with these benefits come several important responsibilities. The water
stored in these reservoirs is most likely the same water that is cleaned and
later flows to your home faucets. Maintaining the ecological health of the
lake is extremely important to the health and well-being of your community.
Properly maintaining septic systems at your home, regularly servicing boat
motors will help insure the reservoir remains safe for drinking water.
Also important to the community is the scenic quality of the reservoir. Properly
constructing and maintaining boat houses, docks and pumps so that they are hazard
free and aesthetically pleasing for all who visit the reservoir.